Sunday, September 14, 2014

Le Labo Cuir 28 (Dubai exclusive): fragrance review

Far from the crowd pleasing orientalism of Benjoin 19 (Le Labo's Moscow "city exclusive") which I had reviewed for Fragrantica last autumn, Cuir 28 by Le Labo reprises some of the butcher elements of the great leather perfumes tradition and marries them to a woody-peppery chord with unisex appeal. This brings it at a no man's land of leather scents, as it doesn't fit the mold of any category really; is it like Bandit (Piguet), Cabochard (Gres), Cuir de Russie (Chanel), Cuir de Lancome, John Varvatos Vintage, Tuscan Leather (Tom Ford), Bel Ami (Hermes) etc etc? It's like none of these things.

The phenols (tar-like notes) resurface in Cuir 28 as a leathery note aspect on top; sharp and oozing with bitumen, the leather note in Cuir 28 is unpresentable, tough as nails, probably an echo of Parchouli 24 which also presents an odd and visceral experience, especially if you're after sweet oriental or "suede" leathers. The hardcore leather bar crowd however should find it eminently intriguing due to this very reason, although a bit of vanilla does surface later on to cajole and give some human affection.

The progression soon gains the iris-peppery combination that makes for the prolonged elegance of Chanel Les Exclusifs 31 Rue Cambon, only the execution seems like it has diverged into two slices in the Le Labo creation, a still dry and with hints of vetiver earthiness medley that feels like a different person has walked into the room. The two slices do not meet in the pie and remain sort of disjointed throughout, which produces an odd but trippy experience for the wearer; in a way it's probably a test of dedication: will you have the patience to discover the unfolding of the notes?

The final phase of Cuir 28 comes through a hint of musky vanilla that tries to efface the butch factor of the top note, small comfort for the wild ride. For the full review please consult this link on Fragrantica.

Though a Dubai exclusive (Le Labo reserves some of its fragrances for city-specific distribution only resulting in the City Exclusive) for the month of September 2014 ONLY Cuir 28 can be found online at the official Le Labo site and Luckyscent. (I had been able to review this thanks to a generous procurer of the sample; you know who you are, thanks)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Perfume quote: by Maurice Roucel

Maurice Roucel, the acclaimed perfumer behind such block-busting fragrances as 24 Faubourg for Hermes, Insolence and L'Instant for Guerlain, Missoni by Missoni, Tocade for Rochas and cult wonders like Musc Ravageur (for Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle) has pronounced his judgment.
You have been warned. Sail out to the world broadcasting the right Mors code.

Photo of fashion and cinema icon Catherine Deneuve by Helmut Newton.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

At the Moment

The numinous super-moon of last Monday has literally turned the leaf on September's notebook, serein falling gently on the dry, thirsty leaves for a few evenings in a row. This is an optimistic period for me, the academic year starting always has my spirits up. So sharing some of my current preoccupations might be inspiring. I certainly desire to hear all about yours in the comments!


  • Cosmetic finds

Early autumn is hair restoration time because, let's face it, Greek summer can be brutal to one's hair: scorching sun, beach lifestyle, salty wind, lots of sweat, lots of washing, they all take their toll.  The latest product I tried and can rave about is Dry Solution Moisturizing Mask by Honor Haircare; a thickish unguent in a greyish cream shade that's meant to be used after shampooing and rinsed after a few minutes. It leaves hair pliable and -bonus points!- very tame and silky (but not greasy) in the high humidity of early September; absolutely no frizz, a small miracle by my standards (Is the saffllower oil the "culprit" for this? I might buy a gallon or two if so. It takes all but a dollop to work, so it's also rather good value for money. The odd part on this particular blog's scope is probably the scent: the sweet (yummy, like honeyed jasmine) smell remains on hair for quite some time. If you fear it might clash with your perfume, I think you're safe unless you're wearing a very strident scent or an already too sweet one; but it's a consideration worth keeping in mind. Thumbs up for the results at any rate.

I have continued my love affair with Christian Dior's Mayday lipstick from the Transtlantic cruise collection from spring. It's the perfect subtly raspberry leaning red for all seasons. Thanks Dorthea and Gaia for the hearty recommendations; that's a purchase I shall not regret.


  • Home interests

The cocooning season is beginning and I'm ambivalent on it on two counts: for one, too much home time means less movement, more food and that's bad for the waistline (I have decided to keep any summer shed pounds off for good); reason number two, it's so much cozier to not be on the run all the time and having the luxury of preparing a long meal or just lounging in one's homewear.
I'm eyeing a Le Creuset skillet for preparing a mean steak even in the gloom of late November and preparing the last late summer tomatoes into a mean salsa to be kept for wintertime. I'm also equipping my bed with a high count, pure cotton, double hemstitch sheet set in burgundy for the restful nights I deserve.

  • Musical Company

I rediscovered Tchaikovsky's The Seasons. The celebrated "June" (Barcarolle) is playing on my computer as I'm writing this. I remember it fondly from my childhood, mainly from the soundtrack of Jean Jacques Annaud directed L'Ours (1988), a film bathed in its singular emotion. Mikhail Pletnev's interpretation is particularly moving, I find, the slightly lento fingering redolent of melancholia.

  • Intellectual pursuits

I've just got  Françoise Sagan's play Château en Suède, which sounds like a soap opera turned into a book but is really not. I'm also following Histories of Cultural Materialism, in particular Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard. Margaret Atwood's the Handmaid Tale came highly recommended as a 'young read' from someone I respect and I'm going to give it a shot (anyone read this?)

  • Fashion must-haves

A pair of new ankle boots to replace my tattered ones is priority number one. Cuban heel, smooth kid's leather, comfortable seams and a semi-rounded instep. In black or in burgundy if I can find them. I'm browsing Asos and La Redoute for various designs, so much selection around!

  • Perfume Testing & Loving

Right admist the latest The Different Company scent, Une Nuit Magnetie, opinion to follow as soon as I have formed one. Contemplating whether more Le Labo Gaiac 10 (Tokyo exclusive) can be fitted into my stash and budget. Giving Cuir 28 (Le Labo Dubai exclusive) another run for its money and rather liking its odd ups and downs (and the vaguely familiar vibe, more on which later on).
Serge Lutens L'Orpheline is my latest obsession (in love with its spicy, musky, quiet melancholy) and I'm using up Chanel 31 Rue Cambon Les Exclusifs fragrance like there's no tomorrow!

Tell me all about your (re)discoveries in the comments!

Friday, September 5, 2014

The 5000th Milestone

On August 30th two people five thousand miles apart simultaneously tied to became the 5,000 person to create their own fragrance at Tijon.  Fabrizia Arriola  from La Jolla made her own perfume at the Tijon fragrance lab in La Jolla while Nile Lee from Washington D.C. created her fragrance at Tijon’s headquarters on the French Caribbean island of St. Martin.

Fabrizia called her lovely perfume Tally 101 which included notes of mango, lime, lemon, papaya, freesia, verbena and amber.

At Tijon one dons a lab coat and then chooses from three unique, interactive and memorable experiences ranging from fifteen minutes to three hours in creating their custom fragrance.  They will choose from over 300 oils in blending their custom formula.  It may sound overwhelming but the pros at Tijon make it easy evidenced by its five star rating on both tripadvisor and yelp.

Fragrances created are kept by Tijon and can easily be reordered online.  “Creating a fragrance is adventurous, interactive, memorable and fun, and we provide as much help as needed in offering the different levels of experiences,” added Jovan Van Drielle, President of Tijon La Jolla.

In addition to offering these perfume creation experiences, Tijon has created and offers in its attached boutique twenty-one signature perfumes and colognes along with lotions, sunscreens, soaps and other niche cosmetics.

Tijon was founded in December 2007 in the village of Grand Case, St. Martin and opened its first USA location in December 2012 in the seaside village of La Jolla, California.  Both villages are recognized internationally for their scenic beauty, gourmet foods, shopping, and now . . . for their fragrances.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on the Tijon Parfumerie contact Jovan Van Drielle or visit  www.tijon.com

info via press release

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joan Rivers: 1933-2014

The eternally self-deprecating, great Joan has silenced for ever. Her stint at the perfume and makeup counter shall always be remembered fondly.

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